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September 26, 2006

Hibernation

"Wake me up when September ends."
- Green Day


One of the downsides of reading a lot of blogs is the inevitable feeling that you’re never doing enough to keep up.

Nearly every day you’ll read about one person’s marathon, another person’s ultra, someone’s 80-mile training week, or somebody else’s hike to the top of some mountain.

And when you’re sitting at home (or – who are we kidding? – at work) reading all of these things, it inevitably makes you feel like your own training regimen pales in comparison. If left unchecked, those feelings can often turn to thoughts of inadequacy and hopelessness.

We’re in danger of becoming like an overweight teenage girl watching runway models at a fashion show on TV: after a while, we figure there’s no way we’ll ever be able to measure up to those standards, so we stop trying.

If that’s a familiar feeling for you, then today you’ve come to the right place. Because with this post I’m going to tell you about all that I haven’t done in the past two weeks.

It’s traditional for me to go into a hibernation phase for a few weeks following a big race, and ever since this month’s triathlon, I’ve been just about as lazy as a guy can get. I sleep in nearly every day, eat as much as I want to, and do almost no exercise while recovering from the recent event. Believe me - when it comes to being a slacker, I can compete with the best of them.

So here then is my workout log over the past 16 days:

Swimming: none
Cycling: 1 day, 20 miles
Running: 2 days, 9 total miles.

That’s it. That’s the list.

But I don’t stop at mere sloth. I like to add a heaping dose of gluttony into my post-race apathy phase. I’ve already indicated that I’m a good slacker – but when it comes to eating, I approach Hall of Fame caliber. Think of Elvis Presley circa 1976 (minus all the drugs), and you’ll have a fair estimate of what my life is like in the afterglow of a major race.

It’s no accident that I don’t keep a nutritional sidebar like some bloggers are apt to do. Otherwise I’d have to account for the vast amounts of brownies, muffins, lemon bars, Dove dark chocolate, ice cream, pizza and French fries that I’ve consumed recently. Not to mention, when I’m in feeding frenzy mode, I’m the Kobayashi of chocolate chip cookie-eating.

So if you’ve been feeling inadequate, rest assured that you’ve probably taken care of yourself way better than I have lately. You know how people say that you shouldn’t make yourself feel good by putting others down? Well sometimes, that’s a load of crap. In some cases you simply want to find comfort or reassurance through any available means.

I’m willing to play the fall guy this week, and for the remainder of the month. So go ahead - feel better about yourself on account of my laziness. It’s OK, really. I’m fine with it.

If you’ve run more than twice in the last two weeks, you’ve done more than me. If you’ve been out of bed before 7:00 AM, you’ve had more discipline. Heck, if you’ve declined even one cookie or said “no thanks” to a third helping of chocolate cake, you’ve shown more self-restraint than I have. Congratulations.

But don’t get too accustomed to all this, because by the end of next month, I’ll be back on the horse. And if you want to keep up once I hit training mode again, you darn sure better be running.

15 comments:

Mark I. 9/26/06, 9:39 AM  

What an excellent post, Donald. It's good to hear I'm not the only one who faulters. The good news is that we, over the course of our lifetimes, have many opportunities for redemption.

Well said.

Cliff 9/26/06, 10:17 AM  

Brownie..

now that's what i have been missign in my diet. Thanks Donald.

This week I only start swimming again. I can't run or bike b/c i cramp my calfs big time in a duathlon last week.

I do find after my A race, I have been feeling the blues. Just doing some exercise (no schedule, no plan) brings me back up.

So far i have gain about 3 lbs. I am keeping tabs on that....

olga 9/26/06, 10:28 AM  

I can beat you in it, you know:) this week for sure.

angie's pink fuzzy 9/26/06, 12:36 PM  

Cheers! I'll join you in the sloth and gluttony fun :)

susie 9/26/06, 2:27 PM  

Ohhh, I can relate, too. Yup. I skipped my run today:) And I'm going to have dessert and extra chocolate just because I want to.

robtherunner 9/26/06, 5:01 PM  

With a sub-5 1/2 IM I would say you deserve the slacker mode.

I wish I could join you in the chocolate chip cookie eating contest. Maybe someday we can get together for a marathon and see how many cookies we can eat the day before and then come up with some kind of handicap system to see who can run the fastest time adjusted marathon the next day. I think this might work with alcohol consumed the day before a marathon as well, but for some reason people do not view this as fun.

backofpack 9/26/06, 7:56 PM  

Donald,
I've been resisting the Doves. It's awfully tempting, but once I get started, it's all down hill...and guess what my buddy in the office next door keeps in her desk? That's right - Doves. Both light and dark. Occasionally, she'll walk in and dump a couple on my desk...then she tells me to help myself whenever I want them. She doesn't know that's she's luring me to the dark side. On Monday I may just take her up on it!

Sarah 9/26/06, 10:00 PM  

So I see you're giving yourself until the end of *next* month to hit the training big time again. That's some major slacking! ; )

hmmm...lemon bars.... : )

Darrell 9/26/06, 10:05 PM  

I'm not going to try to compete with you on this one, because I'd never be able to get going again or even think of keeping up with you once you get going again.

Enjoy your hibernation!

Jon in Michigan 9/27/06, 4:31 AM  

First, I love that song!

Second, this post is totally excellent!

Lovin' it.

And I'm running. :)

Annette 9/27/06, 6:51 PM  

There's nothing like a bit of honesty! Most of us only tell about the good things we've done. Good for shaming us into honesty. :) Since I chose not to exercise at all today, suddenly, I'm not feeling so bad. Admitting your failure is the first step to recovery, right? ;)

miki 9/27/06, 8:09 PM  

where does gluttony during the tapering part before the big race land on this sloth scale? I hardly think chocolate chip cookies (my boyfriend makes some mean ones) count as carbo loading....does it??

ClareUK 9/28/06, 10:58 AM  

What a great post! As a beginner I read for inspiration but can't help feeling I'll never get there. I'm now at your post race stage..... now I just need to eve attempt to keep up when you hit training mode!

Mike 9/28/06, 9:30 PM  

Donald,
although I wouldn't want to be standing next to you at the start of a 1/2 Iron or any footrace- I'll give you a solid challenge in the CC cookie eating!

Easy with all the training- you did more in the past 16 days then I did in 3 weeks!!;-)

Sue 9/29/06, 12:00 AM  

You deserve a rest after all your hard training and I detect this is just the lull before the storm......

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